T. Lee named new designer of the year

T. Lee of Minneapolis received the Mort Abelson New Designer Award on Monday during a small ceremony at the JA New York Summer Show.

“It’s overwhelming to be recognized by my peers who I idolize and I try to model my work after,” Lee told JCK following the award presentation. “There’s nothing like it. It proves that working your fingers to the bones pays.”

This is the second award Lee received on Monday. Earlier in the day she was presented with the Golden Apple Award for Allure for what the award organization called “a creative and effective publicity campaign that attracted the trade and consumer media, including TV and radio coverage.” She said that over the years she has had plenty of help in designing and marketing her jewelry.

“It certainly wasn’t a solo effort. Everyone has been so generous and open with their creativity, talent, and advice,” she said.

Other finalists for the new designer award were: Atelier Boschi, Zagreb, Croatia; Jennifer Benusis Jewelry, Campbell Hall, N.Y.; Karin Jacobson, South Minneapolis, Minn.; Jennifer Kellogg, New York; Jodi Jaffe, Toledo, Ohio; Anthony-Nak, Austin, Texas; Saundra Messihner, Suffern, N.Y.’ and Alphonse De La Forte Magnificent Jewels, Miami.

Lee said that the competition was intense. “There’s a huge amount of talent down there (pointing to the booths in the new designer gallery area). It was anybody’s game.”